Jan

18

Top Mobile Gaming Predictions For 2012

Mark Stephens

Getting into the spirit of the New Year, we have scouted the Web for some of the top predictions about where mobile gaming is going in the year ahead. We didn’t check how many of last year’s predictions came true in 2011, but I’m sure someone somewhere predicted that Angry Birds would start to take over the world and tablet computing would skyrocket!

Mobile Gaming will Reach New Heights

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Ok, this is not exactly going out on a limb but with the increasing availability of cheaper, more powerful mobile devices with quad-core CPUs and better graphics processing capabilities, the corresponding spike in mobile gaming appears to be set to go only one way – and that’s upwards.

Incredibly Apple sells around 10 million new iPhones per month worldwide and when we add all the Android-powered devices being activated out there, that represents a massively growing market. If the Windows 7/Nokia phone starts to challenge the superiority of these two platforms then we may have another big mobile war developing in 2012.

Tablet Gaming Starts to Attract More Serious Gamers

2011 saw some high quality, graphic-intensive games already hitting the iPad 2, such as “Infinity Blade 2.”

If this trend continues, as seems likely (and considering that there may be a much improved iPad 3 with a retina display this year too) then we can expect more serious gamers to be attracted to these devices – further challenging the previous dominance of the game console manufacturers like Sony and Nintendo.

Previously the graphics capabilities of mobile handsets and the earlier iOS and Android tablets severely restricted gaming but we are seeing great leaps forward with this – to be continued in 2012.

Some of the Smaller Developers will be Eaten Up

It’s already hard for smaller developers to make an impact in the App store as the ones featured in the Top downloads lists command a hug proportion of new downloads, but we will probably see a lot of them fall by the wayside in 2012 – either closing their doors or being eaten up (“acquired”) by the Big Boys.

With the huge amounts of money involved in the mobile gaming business nowadays, big companies with big marketing budgets will run extensive advertising and social media campaigns and consolidate at the top; they will further dominate and grow their already established audiences and it will become harder for the smaller garage developer to be seen and make ends meet, unfortunately.

Increasing Social influence on Mobile Gaming

It seems almost inevitable that there will be stronger social influence on mobile gaming in the year ahead.

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Many are predicting that we will see more multi-player games, with competitions and challenges for groups of friends, score comparisons and leader tables.

A couple of Japanese mobile companies (DeNA and Gree) especially have started to build social networks around their games very successfully and are leading the way in hooking up their game players to social networks.

Open Feint is one such gaming network that works across both iOS and Android platforms; you may have seen in Monkeybin’s JumpshipThrust Control 2 and Seagull’s Revenge games that we provide the Open Feint option.

The benefits are clear – for the gamer it’s a more interactive experience with their friends; for the game producers and networks there are many cross-promotion capabilities with this type of set up.

Final Words…

These are some of the clearest and most-voiced predictions around on the web about the immediate future of mobile gaming.

Why not share some of your own thoughts about what’s around the corner in 2012? Leave some ideas in the comments section below.